A recent Quest Diagnostics study indicated a significant rise in new diabetes cases in states that expanded Medicaid eligibility under the Affordable Care Act. The study reported that in states that expanded Medicaid, newly identified cases of diabetes rose 23 percent, compared to just .4 percent in the states that did not expand the program. Quest’s study was based on results of hemoglobin A1C tests, which reflect long-term glucose in the blood.
ExamOne, a Quest Diagnostics company, provides valuable testing services to health plans and their members, including Medicaid. MediCheck™ is a dedicated data collection system offered by ExamOne that enables health plans to control the health risk assessment process.
The recent Quest study highlights the importance of regular health assessments for health plan members.
“Our study demonstrates the value of objective insights gleaned from aggregate diagnostic data for informing population health strategies that can promote better health outcomes,” said Jay Wohlgemuth, M.D., senior vice president and chief scientific officer – research, development and medical, Quest Diagnostics.
A key finding in the study said that people with diabetes were identified at earlier stages in states that expanded Medicaid. According to the study, Quest scientists found lower hemoglobin A1C levels in newly identified patients in expansion states versus those in non-expansion states.
Early diagnosis and treatment are key to managing chronic health conditions such as diabetes, and can reduce the risk of developing additional health complications. The goal of MediCheck is to assist health plans with the data collection necessary to identify risks, and ultimately provide a plan for members to manage their health. Whether the health risk assessment process uncovers new information or reinforces the existing recommendations of the member’s physician, the documentation of those conditions, along with the face-to-face coaching, can help ensure that health plans are not only HEDIS-ready, but also actively supporting member health.